In the disparate land of Victusia where magic and mayhem thrive, where battles are well fought in grand arenas, pitting two skilled warriors against each other; the victor that shall reign supreme shall be decided by one question, and one question alone, how tasty is the food that they’ve made? In Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe by Trinket Studios, you begin your journey by taking on the role of Mina, a chef aspiring to become a member of the Elite Battle Chef Brigade. Will Battle Chef Brigade leave a sweet taste in your mouth, or is this just another dish best left uneaten? Here is our Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe Review.
In one ingenious mash up of beat’em up side-scroller and a matching puzzle game, Battle Chef Brigade melds these two different genres into an exciting mad dash of killing and cookery that better leave the judges astonished, or you’ll pay dearly. Each match in most cases is made up of multiple parts. Similar to a Food Network Iron Chef battle, the Chairman, Kamin, will introduce the opponents as well as the secret ingredient. However, unlike the Iron Chef Battles one may be familiar with, it is then up to you to travel forth into the landscape to kill your own food so that you can prepare it for the judges. Food items you can encounter could be as simple as slicing a piece of fruit off of a plant, or as dangerous as fighting a Dragon for its many delectable parts.
Battling is fairly straight forward, with Mina and eventually a second character, Thrash, utilizing both weapons, magic and evasion to defeat their many, many opponents. Upon successfully killing or gathering your desired ingredients, you then must hurry back to the kitchen where you are asked to cook a delicious meal based on a judges desired flavor profile. For example, if you are to cook Baurun as the secret ingredient but the judge you are cooking for requires that the dish be spicy, you should collect ingredients that have mostly red gems so that you can more easily match them, increasing the spiciness of the dish.
The matching game is also exceptionally creative. This isn’t just a match 3 game tacked on to a side-scroller, on the contrary, the depth in which they have created the match game in itself is a pleasure and a challenge. Players are often tasked with building complex flavor profiles, but each ingredient you use could be made up of several different gem types with bones or poison thrown in that will undoubtedly befuddle even the most seasoned chef. Luckily, a chef’s tools are as important as their abilities, and as you progress through the story, you will obtain new pots, pans, and cutting boards to aid you in creating the best dishes possible. Each new piece of equipment you obtain opens up further options on how you will handle the complications you will most certainly encounter throughout your journey.
Every point in a chef battle is as important as any other. Being exceptional at one part of a challenge may do well for side missions, like completing puzzles for Belchor or hunting enemies for Thorn, but to actually succeed in battle, swiftness in mind and body is the key. Once you have dipped your toes into hunting the most dangerous of animals, utilizing sauces properly and cooking your way to victory is just about the time when everything you know about cooking will change. Without divulging the largest of plot busting spoilers, I can reveal that Victusia is in a state of peril. The monsters that everyone relies on for food are now tainted with a sickness, and only experienced chefs with patience and determination can cook the sickness out of them. The difficulty of cooking increases triple fold with fragile gems breaking before your eyes and poison sickening and tainting dishes that weren’t cooked properly.
Couple the fantastic gameplay with outstanding voice acting and a pleasing Anime art style and Trinket Studios has come up with an amazing offering that proves its worth in the story mode alone. But wait, there’s more! You can also enjoy all the fun of Battle Chef Brigade in local multiplayer as well as a daily cook off, and challenges that range from survival mode to free play mode giving you so much more to do than just completing the well-worth-it story. Battle Chef Brigade is available on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch as well as on the PC for Steam, Humble Bundle and GoG.